Monday, December 12, 2005

Can't Believe Your Senses?

Some Quotes from A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens

`It's humbug still!'' said Scrooge. ``I won't believe it.''

``Why do you doubt your senses?''

``Because,'' said Scrooge, ``a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!''


VANCOUVER (CP) - A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled that a section of the Criminal Code that creates the most serious of three criminal organization offences is invalid.

Justice Heather Holmes, saying the section is too vague, made the ruling last week but the judgment had been under a publication ban until Monday. A publication ban remains in effect regarding the name of the accused connected to the ruling. The judge ruled that section 467.13 "is of no force and effect."

There were three amendments made in 2001 to previous legislation regarding criminal organizations, the court noted.

Outside court, the lawyer who challenged the section said the B.C. judge was the only one so far to consider the section's constitutionality.

"The only judge in Canada to have considered the constitutionality of this section is Justice Holmes, who struck it down as unconstitutional," said Matthew Nathanson.

"So in British Columbia, this charge is unconstitutional and off the books. There has not been any consideration of its constitutionality in other provinces. So there is an issue as to: are other provinces bound by this decision?"

The section struck down reads in part: "Every person who is one of the persons who constitute a criminal organization and who knowingly instructs, directly or indirectly, any person to commit an offence under this or any other act of Parliament for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, the criminal organization is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life."


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